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Funds Are Available for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Awareness and Education Project

5/30/2001:   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in eight women of childbearing age reports "risk drinking" (seven or more drinks per week or five or more drinks on any one occasion). In the earliest weeks of pregnancy, even before a woman may know she is pregnant, these alcohol levels can pose a threat to the fetus.

The CDC estimates that 1,300 to 8,000 children are born each year with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, an entirely preventable lifetime disability and one that affects many children served by child welfare agencies. Many more children are born with Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), a less serious set of symptoms that may not be diagnosed until a child is at least school age. For more information, check the CDC website, http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fas and click on the specific topics or go to http://www.acbr.com/fas.

To prevent FAS and address the problems that result from the effects of alcohol on the fetus, the CDC will fund two to four cooperative agreement awards of $75,000 to $200,000 each, totaling $500,000 in Fiscal Year 2001. This project focuses on the areas of substance abuse and maternal, infant, and child health in the "Healthy People 2010" plan.

The purpose of the project is to develop, implement, and evaluate materials to educate parents and professionals working in public health and social service agencies and school systems about FAS and to secure access to appropriate diagnostic and treatment services for affected children and their families. Applications, due June 29, 2001, may be submitted by public and private nonprofit organizations (but not by 501[c]4 organizations); by universities, colleges, research institutions, and hospitals; and by governments and their agencies (including tribal and territorial agencies).

Awards will be made, on September 20, 2001, for a project period of up to three years. For further details, go to http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fas and click on the relevant application.

For Child Welfare League of America publications about FAS/FAE and about the links between substance abuse and maltreatment, go to < ahref="http://www.cwla.org/pubs" target="new">http://www.cwla.org/pubs.

Content contributed by Heather Banks, Editor

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